? How To Perform Umrah, Detailed Article

How to Perform Umrah - Step by Step

Umrah is a pious ritual being performed by Muslims all around the year. Though, it is not necessary for every able-bodied Muslim, but is extremely recommended. In Arabic, the term 'Umrah' means a visit, and in Islamic term or terminology, it refers to a pilgrimage to Makkah by Muslims from different regions. Often called as the 'lesser' or 'minor' pilgrimage, whereas the Hajj being the 'major' one, it is of two different kind. When carried out in combination with Hajj, it is known as Umrat al-tammat, and when performed independent of Hajj, it is called asal-Umrat al mufradah.

The way of performing Umrah

As per Islamic Shariyah, the situation for Umrah to get accepted is to strictly follow the entire four Pillars' that include wearing Ihram, Tawaaf or circumambulation, Saaee, and Tahal-lul. Let us talk about all these rituals in detail, which are also the resulting steps of completing Umrah.

Ihram: The meaning of Arabic term 'Ihram' is to make something prohibited (Haram). For a person to enter in the state of Ihram means that particular permissible (Halaal) things are now forbidden for him. This is done previous to reaching the Meeqat, the boundary line of Makkah which can be reached through several routes. Men must take bath, wear two-piece garments, Rida (for covering the top half of body), and Izaar (for covering the lower half of body), and apply perfume to beard and head, but not the Ihram clothing.

Women must also take bath, however they are not necessarily required to wear any specific piece of clothing. Although they are not permitted to wear the face veil (Naqaab) and hand gloves. As the pilgrims are about to reach at station of the Meeqat, they are necessary to pronounce the Niyyah (intention) of Umrah and say the Talbiyyah (statement). Hence, they must be already in the state of Ihram before entering in Makkah for Umrah.

Tawaf or circumambulation of Kaaba:

The next step is to enter the Prophet's mosque i.e. Masjid al-Haram through Bab-as-Salam. To start doing it, you require to perform Iztaba, which is to bare the right shoulder from the Ihram item of clothing. As you reach Hajr-e-Aswad (the Black Stone), the starting point of Tawaaf or circumambulation, touch the Hajr-e-Aswad with your right hand and kiss it (the act of kissing is called Istilam).

After expressing the niyyat, start doing tawwaf of the Kaaba in counter clockwise direction. For the first three rounds, men must walk with pace, and for the rest of the Tawaaf, they can walk normally. This practice is known as Ramal and is a Sunnah.


The literary meaning of Saaee is to run. As for Hajj or Umrah, it refers to running between the hills of Safa and Marwah back and forth, seven times.


It is the last and fourth pillar of Umrah that indicates the coming out from the state of Ihram. Completely shaving off the head hairs (Halq) for men and Women must only clip their hair equal to the length of a fingertip.

Important Advice For All Pilgrims

  • Defend your eyesight. While travelling and especially in holy Makkah when men and women tend to merge more.
  • Protect your women; each femlae travelling will have a mehram whose duty it is to make sure that no mischief comes her way. The most awful men are the dayyooth (those who be deficient in ghayrah, i.e. do not care if (non-mehram) men approach their wives, mothers, daughters or sisters) and the worst females are those that flirt.
  • Do not mix together with the opposite sex (non-mehram), especially those in your group or hotel; this is not allowed under all circumstances. Tour leaders or representatives take note: be careful of being over-friendly with any of the females!
  • Look for some necessary ilm (knowledge) from reliable sources before going to Umrah so you can perform your acts of ibadah (worship) independently and with self-assurance.
  • Spread salaam wherever you go; keep in mind: everyone is a Muslim in the Haramain, alHamdulillah!
  • Always offer precedence to the elderly and assist them whenever you can.
  • Agree to the price before making any transaction to avoid any kind of unnecessary disagreement later; circumstances, where this will be relevant, include shopping, having your baggage trolley pushed by persistent airport workers and getting the laundry done via one of the hotel workers.
  • Musical ring tones are a not allowed; so many Muslims can not comprehend this easy fact. This includes the Nokia tune as well. Transform your mobile phone ring tone to the simple ring tone. And, no matter what you do, do not answer your phone and talk while doing Tawaaf, saaee or during performing any other ritual of Umrah: those who do this are showing slight regard for the sanctity of the holy place.
  • Avoid taking photos; regrettably, that is all you see these days: Muslims taking pictures and making videos of anything or anyone in sight as if they want to prove to the world and people they were there. Advice: have some honesty; you are there for
  • ALLAH Almighty and He do not need you any evidence or anything for He is All-Knowing of each and everything you do.
  • Be tolerant; you will meet all kinds of characters! You are bound to come across many different situations where your tolerance will be tested; remain tranquil and don not lose your temper.
  • Be welcoming; you will meet the most pleasing and interesting of Muslims. Do not shy away from striking up a chat. At the very slightest smile, for that in itself is a good quality. Learning a bit of fundamental Arabic beforehand will be very handy.
  • If you are a smoker, please try to give up. If you can not, please limit it to your accommodation or hotel (room).

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